Taking the first step to start running
Start running from scratch might be slightly tricky. However, running is a great way to improve your health, get fit, and feel better inside and out.
When you have the habit, running becomes an incredible moment reserved solely for you, it is an activity that helps you relax, think and improve yourself over and over again, which means that it is a physical and mental training.
The problem is that most do not know how to take the first step to start running. The good news is that I have a guide especially for you who are starting to run from scratch. And if you’ve tried running before but lacked motivation to continue, I’m sure this smart guide can become a new definitive opportunity to run one more time without fail.
If you are ready to join this fabulous world of running, read on.
I understand you.
You have tried it many times and although you know that exercising is the most valuable habit you can have in your life, for some reason you cannot continue or start.
If so, let me tell you that you landed in the right place, below you will find everything you need to know before starting to run and the step by step to start this fun process.
Running promotes your health
Any form of movement is good for you, but among the many options that exist, running has been the preferred choice of many people around the world.
According to various surveys, it is estimated that in Spain alone there are more than five million runners (between the elite and those who run regularly)
And with good reason.
I love running, it’s a great cardiovascular exercise, it allows you to do an express walk, and it can even become a form of active meditation.
Running also helps you to work with your own weaknesses and fight against your limiting thoughts, because in practice you learn to negotiate with your lazy mind to push yourself to finish the route or to do the last section at full speed.
When you go running constantly, your self-esteem improves, which gives you an extra dose of confidence and motivation to achieve other types of goals (even not related to exercise).
In other words, starting to run helps you train your body and mind, that is, to build an athlete’s mind.
However, it is very important to note that start running from scratch (and creating the habit) is a process.
Think about it: your leg muscles take time to build up, as do your heart and lungs. The good news is that you will be amazed at what your body is capable of achieving.
The goal is to go at your own pace
This guide to start running from scratch is divided into stages that do not have a defined time.
Why? because each person is different: there will be some people who have trained before, or who are more physically fit and therefore advance faster, while other people advance at their own pace (slowly but surely).
Therefore, if you are a running beginner, do not skip any stage!
What we want to achieve is to build the habit and at the same time develop the physical skills you need to run properly, but, we do not want you to hurt yourself and, then, while the fun is out you have to stay at home with ice on your knees .
Our goal is for you to get into the habit of running, but you don’t have to run to get into the habit.
It is not about following a calendar with prescribed exercises, it is about knowing yourself when to move forward or if it is necessary to continue in the same stage, once again remember that it is a process.
Competing in races of 5k, 10k and even a marathon will be possible, but there is plenty of time for that. Right now, we’re going to focus on getting off the couch, walking out the door, and starting to run.
NOTE: if you have an injury, obesity (extreme overweight) or any disease, consult your doctor before start running from scratch.
Remember that there are also many other options to start exercising.
From here begins the regular excuse to postpone running: clothing and running shoes.
What do you really need to start running?
Your will to start running and a pair of comfortable sneakers.
You read that right, at the moment you don’t need to invest in expensive sportswear or sneakers.
Recently a Mexican indigenous woman won a marathon by running only with sandals and her typical dress. She wore nothing but her cap and a scarf around her neck to protect herself from the sun
She ran in those conditions for 7 hours up the mountain, and she won first place, incredible right?
The boom in personalized sports shoes began because everyone has a different footprint when running, some people support the heel more inward and others outward. That’s why orthopedists, trainers, and runners have recommended that having a slightly more custom shoe can make a difference in preventing injury.
All you need is good running shoes
Recent studies have shown that sufficiently comfortable running shoes are all you need for running.
In a 2001 study, one group of soldiers were asked to run in standard shoes (but comfortable in their own perception). The other group were given custom shoes according to their height, weight, heel shape, tread, size of the arch of the foot, among other variables. After four months, the soldiers who wore the most comfortable shoes were those with the lowest incidence of injuries.
According to the researcher, our body is the best judge. When we ignore or fight against the natural movement pattern of our bodies, that is when problems appear.
And speaking of the matter, a heart rate meter is not necessary at the beginning either. It will certainly be of some use if you are already more of a running professional. However, when you start running, relying on your own sensation (heat, shortness of breath, fatigue) is the best thing you can do. Your own body will dictate the optimal rhythm to keep running, slow down or stop training.
Running is about having an active conversation with your body and mind. Pay close attention to what it wants to say to you!
Sweat or pain are bad indicators of whether you are doing well. Instead, here are 3 (+ extra) ways to know if your effort and training is adequate.
What about the clothes?
I am a huge sportswear fan. However, you don’t need anything special to start running.
A few comfortable shorts or pants of any kind are all you need. I recommend that the material you use is preferably cotton that way, sweat evaporates faster and you don’t perspire too much.
The same for socks. If they are made of synthetic material such as polyester they can cause you to sweat extra. This makes the skin in some parts of the foot become more sensitive to the friction of movement. Having a blister is painful and will prevent you from running. The best material for socks is wool or cotton.
So if you have a comfortable pair of legs and shoes, keep reading …
What should you do before and after running?
Move first, and stretch when done
Warming up is essential before starting to run. Spare a few minutes doing wrist, arm and leg circles will be enough to start your route. The objective is to activate circulation in the joints and precisely to begin to warm up.
Something that should NOT be part of your warm-up is static muscle stretching. It has been seen that this can be counterproductive. If the body is still “cold”, in addition to running the muscles lose some strength.
So if you like the feeling of stretching, leave it for last when you finish your running session. What you can do at the beginning is a dynamic stretch. For example raising and lowering one leg trying to touch the tip of the foot 8
Drink only water
If you live in a very humid and hot climate, it is even more important that you hydrate before and after your run.
While running, drink water only if you’re thirsty, but don’t overdo it! excess water is also harmful, remember that it all comes down to listening to your body.
The only rule is that you hydrate with water and nothing else. Sports drinks can be useful in elite athletes. However, but for you and most of us, a sports drink does not make sense. In addition to being more expensive than water, it contains large amounts of sugars that will be left over in your diet.
In summary, if you run less than 1 hour, the water is more than enough to hydrate you
A healthy snack
If you feel dizzy or lack energy when running on an empty stomach, then it is better that you take a small snack at least 40 minutes before running (for example a piece of fruit). This way you will have energy but won’t feel extremely full. This article explains it in depth.
Make a fist with your hand, that’s the maximum portion of food you want to eat after running. Ideally, carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, oatmeal or fruit) and protein (yogurt, fresh cheese, egg or nuts) should be included.
Having said all that, the only thing you really need to start running from scratch is your will. So let’s get started… Ready, set, go!
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.